Sunday, June 4, 2006

10 Things I’ve Learned from Staff Training

  1. Validity: I’m convinced now more than ever that team building and value understanding is more important than task training. Understanding the inner why helps with the outer performance.
  2. Intensity: Training must be intense. The intensity helps break through resistance and helps the staff move beyond superficial into real depth.
  3. Pace: I still have some work to do here. Next year’s schedule will reflect my learning about the pace. The campfire needs to be the last big session of self-revelation. The fun time at Fun Depot was an excellent counter-balance to the heavy stuff we’d been doing. Lastly, a plan for a couple of check-in sessions will also prove helpful.
  4. Questions: Life and ministry have no easy answers, only questions. I am glad Maria brought that to a head making them think by never answering a question. By struggling early they will be better equipped to work with youth who have questions as well without easy answers given by “bobble-head” Jesus types. Live in the questions.
  5. Tension: good training made the inter-personal tension much more positive than last year. There will always be tension, spiritual tension, inter-personal tension, theological tension, etc. The key is to be able to live in that tension and let it strengthen you, not consume you.
  6. Focused Fun: Danelle did a great job helping them have fun but learn something at the same time. Often they had to dig out what they were learning because at first glance the activity was so fun, they didn’t realize how much they were learning. How often do we treat rubber chickens more importantly than glass balls?
  7. Direction: Nilse did a great job helping the teams have direction. She is the list master, after all. This provides meaning and understanding to the overwhelming tasks at hand. She is definately a "navigator" in her leadership style.
  8. Variety: Having a variety of trainers allowed everyone to do what they do best and connected with the staff in completely different ways. Having a variety of activities allows for creativity of expression and balance between physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional.
  9. Values & Goals: Revelation came for a lot of the staff when they had to actually start defining what they valued. For some it was the first time they sought to understand their “why” and not just their “what.” Goals as tangible and measurable objectives means being accountable to yourself and others for what you are striving to accomplish and become. I think that this section is where the staff realized that this isn’t just another job, it is a ministry.
  10. Learning from the Learners: Here is where I personally grew the most, learning from those who were being taught. Seeing what connected, what caused struggle and hearing great ideas. Jessica completely re-focused the Cross Walk on Thursday night and it was far better than I had originally designed. There were several times when we (the trainers) had to re-work our plans to make sure we were helping the staff on their journey. I’m sure I’ve learned as much or more than any of the staff.

What I’m keeping…

Here are the things I know I’ll keep for next year and beyond:

  • Values and Goal Setting
  • Staff Manual and Ministry Values
  • Habitudes
  • Nooma Videos
  • Danelle’s workshops (hopefully Danelle will continue to be willing to volunteer to help!)
  • Theological teaching times
  • Cross Walk (though it will be last thing)
  • Rafting
  • REAL workshops
  • Collages
  • S’mores & campfire
  • What else? Email me and let me know!

What I may change….

Here are the things I’m considering changing:

  • Pace
  • Location (my allergies were really affected by Colonial though I liked the space)
  • Schedule (better balance of reflection and tasks, maybe afternoons off instead of evenings?)
  • Environment design (a way to get people to move around to get to know each other better)
  • More staff contact prior to training
  • What else? Email me and let me know!
Praise God for a great staff. I look forward to a summer that is:

Lost in Grace,

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